Trains have fascinated people for decades, especially the old monstrous steam locomotives of bygone days. Visiting the Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad located in the old mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado enables guests to experience, firsthand, the rumbling sensation of an old narrow gauge railway car. You will feel as if you're going back in time after entering Cripple Creek and stepping aboard one of the majestic steam locomotives. Visitors will witness the smoke pillaring pouring out of the smokestack and hear the distinct sounds of the steam engine just as the nearly 50,000 residents did who once called the Cripple Creek area their home.
Open from mid-May until the middle of October, trains depart the old train depot every 40 minutes starting at 10 am daily. Trains leave from the 1894 depot continuously throughout the day until 5 pm. The four mile round trip meanders through the beautiful, southwestern Colorado countryside. The round trip will take approximately 45 minutes. The tracks run south out of Cripple Creek and travels past the old Midland Terminal. The train rumbles over a rebuilt trestle and passes some famous old mines on the way to Anaconda, an old deserted mining base camp. Passengers of all ages will take pleasure in the scenery and experience of traveling through this once active gold mining community. During the four-mile trip passengers will hear a detailed narration on the times past when Cripple Creek was an active gold mining community. The narrow gauge railroad first opened for business in June of 1967 primarily through the efforts of Dr. John M. Birmingham. The family of Dr. Birmingham is active in the management and operation of the Railroad.
The primary steam locomotive used in the day to day four mile excursions back through time is a 15 ton Orenstein and Koppel engine typical of steam engines of the late 1800's and early 1900's. Two other steam engines are also used during the tourist season. The number 2 engine is a Henschel built around the 1930's in Germany. The third engine, a Porter, was built in the 1920's.
When in the area, visitors to the Railroad can choose a wide variety of other interesting sights to see and experience what life was like during the gold rush days in southwest Colorado.
Gold was discovered in Cripple Creek in 1891 by a prospector and transformed the area into a bustling community and one of the richest gold camps in the area. The Mollie Kathleen mine is open for tours as is the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine, which is still in operation. There are a number of museums where interested visitors can learn about the gold rush days.
Nearby, the town of Victor is located on the southwestern side of the famous Pikes Peak. Victor was known as the City of Mines because of the many large and rich gold mines discovered in the area. Victor is the place to visit for a look back at an authentic mining town. The Lowell Thomas Museum is located in Victor where displays and artifacts describe to visitors the history of the town's history.